New South Wales Consolidated Acts
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DISTRICT COURT ACT 1973 - SECT 4
4 Definitions: general
(1) In this Act, except in so far as the context or subject-matter otherwise
indicates or requires:
"action" means action in the Court, but does not include any proceedings under
Division 8 of Part 3 or under Part 4.
"admitted set-off" , in relation to an action, means set-off admitted by the
plaintiff in the document lodged by the plaintiff to commence the action or,
where a defendant pleads a cross-claim, by the defendant in the prescribed
notice of the cross-claim.
"Chief Judge" means Chief Judge of the Court.
"civil procedure rules" means rules of Court made and in force under Part 3.
"civil proceedings" means proceedings in the Court in its civil jurisdiction.
"corporation" includes any body of persons that may by law sue or be sued,
whether in its own name or in the name of any officer or other person.
"criminal procedure rules" means rules of Court made and in force under Part
"criminal proceedings" means proceedings in the Court in its criminal
"file" , in relation to any proceedings, means lodge with the registrar for
the proper place in relation to the proceedings, for inclusion in the record
of the Court.
"Judge" means Judge of the Court.
"judgment" , in relation to an action, means judgment given or entered up in
"jurisdictional limit" of the Court means $750,000.
"land" includes messuages, tenements and hereditaments, corporeal and
incorporeal, of any tenure or description, and whatever may be the estate or
interest therein, whether vested or contingent, whether freehold or leasehold,
and whether at law or in equity.
"mandatory judicial retirement age" means the maximum age at which a Judge is
required by law to retire.
Note : Section 44 of the Judicial Officers Act
1986 provided for a maximum retirement age for Judges of 72 years before its
amendment by the Justice Legislation Amendment Act (No 3) 2018 .
Section 44 of the Judicial Officers Act 1986 , as amended, has increased the
maximum retirement age for Judges to 75 years. Clause 9 of Schedule 6 to the
Judicial Officers Act 1986 provides that the new retirement age does not
apply to Judges holding office who were appointed before the amendments
commenced unless they consent to the change applying to them as required by
section 55 (2) of the Constitution Act 1902 . The retirement age of 72 years
continues to apply to Judges who do not consent to the increased retirement
age applying to them.
"motor accident claim" means a claim for damages arising from the death of, or
injury to, a person where the death or injury has been caused by an act or
omission of the owner or driver of a motor vehicle in the use or operation of
"officer" , in relation to a corporation, includes a director and any person
having (whether alone or with others) powers of management, direction or
control of the corporation.
"prescribed" means prescribed by this Act or the rules.
"Principal Registrar" means the registrar for Sydney.
(a) where occurring in a provision of Part 3 and in
subsections (3) and (5), means civil proceedings,
(b) where occurring in a
provision of Part 4, means criminal proceedings, and
(c) where occurring in
any other provision of this Act, shall be construed according to the context
in which the expression occurs.
"proclaimed place" means a place for the time being specified in a
proclamation under section 18F.
"proper place" , in relation to any proceedings in the Court in its civil
(a) where there has been no change of venue in respect of the
proceedings--means the proclaimed place at which the proceedings were
(b) where there has been only one change of venue in respect of
the proceedings--means the proclaimed place to which the venue was changed, or
(c) where there have been two or more changes of venue in respect of the
proceedings--means the proclaimed place to which the venue was last changed.
"registry" , in relation to a proclaimed place, means the office of
the registrar for the proclaimed place.
"Rule Committee" means the District Court Rule Committee established under
"sitting place" means:
(a) any proclaimed place, and
(b) in relation to
the Court's civil jurisdiction--any place (other than a proclaimed place) that
is the subject of a direction in force under section 32 (1), and
relation to the Court's criminal jurisdiction--any place (other than a
proclaimed place) that is the subject of a direction in force under
section 173 (1).
"the Court" or
"the District Court" means the District Court of New South Wales, and includes
all registries and offices of the Court, whether they are within the precincts
of the Court or not.
"the registrar" , in relation to any proceedings, means the registrar for the
proper place in relation to the proceedings, and, where any other registrar is
authorised by or under this Act to exercise or discharge any power, authority,
duty or function of the registrar for that place, includes that other
registrar when exercising or discharging that power, authority, duty or
"the rules" means:
(a) where occurring in Part 3 and Division 2 of Part 6, the
civil procedure rules, and
(b) where occurring in Part 4, the
criminal procedure rules.
"work injury damages claim" means a claim for an award of damages to which
Division 3 (Modified common law damages) of Part 5 of the
Workers Compensation Act 1987 applies.
Note : The Interpretation Act 1987
contains definitions and other provisions that affect the interpretation and
application of this Act.
(2) A reference in this Act:
(a) to the giving of a
judgment is a reference to the recording and delivering of a judgment, not
being a judgment under any provision of the civil procedure rules prescribed
for the purposes of this paragraph, and
(b) to the entering up of a judgment
is a reference to the entering up of a judgment in accordance with any
provision of the civil procedure rules so prescribed.
(3) A reference in this
Act to the commencement of proceedings at a proclaimed place (however
expressed) is a reference to the commencement of those proceedings by the
lodging of the document commencing the proceedings with the registrar for that
(4) A reference in this Act to the issue of a document at a
proclaimed place (however expressed) is a reference to the issue of that
document by the registrar for that place.
(5) A reference in this Act to a
stay of proceedings (however expressed) includes a reference to a stay of
enforcement of the judgment arising from the proceedings.
(6) A reference in
this Act to a stay of enforcement of a judgment includes a reference to a stay
of the issue of an order or writ under Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005
(7) Where a provision of this Act refers to the amount claimed in an action
or cross-claim or to the amount for which an action is authorised by this Act
to be brought and the action or cross-claim is for the detention of goods, the
reference to that amount shall be construed as a reference to an amount
equivalent to the value of the goods together with any damages claimed for the
detention of the goods.
(8) A reference in this Act to a Court of Quarter
Sessions includes a reference to a court which, before 1 July 1973, was a
Court of Sessions of the Peace, General Sessions of the Peace, General
Sessions, General Quarter Sessions, General or Quarter Sessions, or General
and Quarter Sessions.
(9) A reference in this Act to criminal jurisdiction
includes a reference to jurisdiction to hear an appeal from any conviction,
finding of guilt, sentence or other decision relating to the commission or
alleged commission of an offence against the law in force in New South Wales.
(10) In this Act:
(a) a reference to a function includes a reference to a
power, authority and duty, and
(b) a reference to the exercise of a function
includes, where the function is a duty, a reference to the performance of the
(11) A reference in this or any other Act, or in any instrument, to
the registrar of the District Court for a proclaimed place is, if there are 2
registrars for that place, a reference to either registrar.
included in this Act do not form part of this Act.
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